Monday, August 17, 2009

I hate Layovers...

Right now I am at a computer in the taipei airport terminal. I have a 9 hour layover and I was very excited about this because I thought I could actually go see taipei, unfortunately, they wont let me leave the airport. I was NOT happy. So, I never wrote about China so I will do my best to remember my week and write about it now.

China Day 1

Mostly, two things stand out to me about my first day in China. 1. cab drivers and 2. scorpions.

My cab ride was hilarious. My driver did not speak a word of english so I showed him the chineese map of where to take me and that was as much communication as we could have. All seemed to be fine until I got to the hostel. The meter read 95 Yuan. I handed him a 100. He starts yelling at me in chineese. I try and tell him I dont understand. He is showing me a little pice of paper and I have NO idea what the paper is. I show him my money and try and ask him if its more for some reason. He just keeps yelling. This honestly went on for 15 minutes. I sat in the back of his cab and he would not let me out and just got more and more angry. I put my forhead on the seat in front of me because i was so frustrated and just listened to him yell. A young looking man walked down the street and i rolled down the window and asked if he spoke english. He did not but got is friend who did. The man translated for me that we had gone through a toll and I needed to pay 10 more yuan. I paid and have never been so thankful to get out of a cab in my life.

I went in the hostel, found rich and we went to the night market. This leads me to the scorpions. At the night market you are bombarded with people shouting at you and grabing your clothes trying to pull you into their stand. Before getting to the stands you walk through a little area where they sell a lot of food. They really love meat on sticks in china, but not normal meat. They had lizards, chicken hearts, starfish, seahorses, dog meat, centepides and scorpions all on display to buy and eat. The scorpions, however, came impaled with about 4 on a stick and THEY WERE STILL ALIVE! They were thrashing their tails around and did not look happy to have a wooden spike poked through their bodys. When you bought scorpions to eat they simply threw the squer of live scorpions on the grill... fried them up and they were ready to eat. People said they were really crispy. Rich wanted to try some but didnt get around to it. I was very thankful.

Our hostel was AMAZING. We stayed at the Wangfujing youth hostel and I loved it. It was so clean and we stayed in a a room with 4 other people. One guy named Yohan who was hilarious and three quiet little asian girls. They were the perfect roomates. I had a little bed that was stuck in the wall and it had a little noise maker box and a curtain that I could close when I went to bed. The people there were amazing and I have never met staff that were more helpful or friendly in my life. They had a tiny cafe where everyone hung out and you could just grab a drink or some food and sit around and meet people from all over the world. Staying in hostels is a dangerous thing for me because I honestly though that after traveling for 3 weeks I would get some of my passion for adventure and travel out of my system but meeting people who have so many amazing stories about where they have been and where they are going just made me more restless. People were shocked that I was in china for 1 week and only traveling for a total of 3. People who stay in hostels live this crazy life style where they travel for months and months at a time. They are so freindly, layed back, adventurous, passionate and see life in such an interesting way. Its almost like travel is an artform. I think meeting people at the hostel may have been my favorite part of traveling.

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